compares to the grace, space and pace of the traditional
Jaguar car. For years, Jaguarespecially under its present
owner Fordhas been trying to recapture the heyday of the XK
sports cars, the Mark II, which effectively created the compact
executive market typified by the BMW
3-series, and the E-type.
New Zealand has long been a source for well-maintained
old Jags, since Kiwis do not put corrosion-causing salt on their
roads, so it was not surprisingly to see a firm in Dunedin, New
Zealand specializing in a chauffeur-driven service with a fleet
populated exclusively with Jaguars and Daimlers.
The award-winning Classic Jaguar Limousines
service was our first introduction to one of the world's most southernmost
cities as owner Steven McNulty collected Lucire from the
airport and gave an introduction to the Presbyterian heritage of
his home town. He and his drivers have to know the area wellsightseeing
tours are among their specialities, though there are equally customers
who hire his company for weddings, airport transfers and as a formal
While it was fascinating to learn of Dunedin's
historythe arrival of the Scottish Presbyterians, the first
university in New Zealand, and for a time the largest city in the
country at the time of the nineteenth-century Gold RushMcNulty's
own company history is similarly enlightening, particularly to those
who have a soft spot for the classic Jaguars.
Beginning with a fleet of three, McNulty has expanded
his operation to include the ex-Mayor of Auckland Daimler Limousine
and one of the 69 high-roof Daimler Majestics. His favourite remains
the S-type, a tuned twin-carb version in which he has managed to
see off more obvious competition at classic rallies.
The 1965 S-type 3·8 in McNulty's fleet
certainly looks the most balanced of all the cars, the perfect embodiment
of Jaguar founder William Lyons motto of Grace, space,
pace. But for those who need the size, McNulty has a Mark
Xfor many years the widest production car to have come out
of Great Britaincomplete with a rear passengerdriver
partition apeing Lyonss own car, and a later 420G, the final
evolution of the Mark X shape.
In fact, Lyonss presence is felt at Classic
Jaguar Limousineshis photograph is honorarily placed at its
More stately is his oldest car, the Mark IX of
1960. Tall and regal, this upright Jaguar typifies the 1950s-era
cars. The 1971 Daimler Limousine in his fleet has ferried dignitaries
including the British Royal Family and Nelson Mandela. [Auckland]
Mayor Robbie [as Sir Dove-Myer Robinson was known] had trouble convincing
the Council to pay for the car so he had to take out options to
bring it within cost, recalls McNulty. Consequently, the Daimler
Limousine is unusual in that it lacks power windows and air conditioning,
and Classic Jaguar Limousines has kept it in its original condition.
Regular airport transfer work is done in more
modern Jaguars, of which Classic Jaguar Limousines has two: a long-wheelbase
X300-series XJ6 and a Daimler Majestic. The Majestic looks like
the regular XJ40 sedan that dates from October 1986 but with a high
roof, not dissimilar to the one that drove British Prime Minister
John Major during his final term.
A regular amongst Jaguar aficionados in New ZealandMcNulty
has organized national gatheringshe confesses that there are
models he refuses to touch. The early XJ40s, he tells
Lucire. Apparently, these modelshappily absent from
this fleetsuffered from reliability glitches, and it was later
samples that were the better sorted. He reports virtually no faults
with his X300, the XJ40s successor.
Classic Jaguar Limousines drivers are well
versed in the Dunedin area and take on clients in nearby Queenstown,
arguably New Zealands premier vacation spot. They know the
best spots for viewing the cityfrom Signal Hill to Mt Cargillnot
to mention the finest accommodation and dining, and unique locations
such as Taiaroa Head, at which there is an albatross colony. Tours
of this very lush Otago area take a minimum of two hours.
We have to conclude that being chauffeur-driven
via Jaguar is the perfect complement to any tour in this part of
the world. There is no point rushing a visit to Dunedin and its
stunning surroundings. One can relax here to the point of changing
the Jaguar motto to Grace, space, taste. Sir William
Lyons would still have approved.
Jack Yan is founding publisher of Lucire.
His tour was organized by Tourism
Dunedin in association with the Dunedin
Classic Jaguar Limousines
TOP: The way Jaguar
grilles should be: a leaper (mascot) and a growler (badge).
This is Classic Jaguar Limousines 1965 tuned S-type, still
the pride and joy in McNultys fleet. CENTRE:
The modern Jaguar XJ6 long wheelbasebetter-maintained than
most, since New Zealanders do not salt their roads. ABOVE:
A trio of Jaguar tails: the Mk X (foreground), the stately
Mk IX (back) and the S-type.
The 1971 Daimler Limousine
in his fleet has ferried dignitaries including the British Royal
Family and Nelson Mandela